Nurse Practitioners Sentenced to Prison for Health Care Fraud

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Bribery and corruption concept in business and politics with caucasian businessman and cash money in white envelope

GREAT  FALLS – Two Montana nurse practitioners have been sentenced for conspiring to defraud Medicare of millions of dollars.  Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris sentenced Janae Nichole Harper, 34, of Kalispell, to 12 months in prison and Mark Allen Hill, 54, of Edinburg, North Dakota to 9 months in prison.  Both defendants will be placed on supervised release for 3 years after their release from prison.  Additionally, Harper was ordered to pay $4,307,934.58 in restitution and Hill was ordered to pay $5,054,866 in restitution.

Harper was a licensed nurse practitioner  in Montana, Missouri, Nevada, South Carolina and Wyoming and was enrolled as a medical provider with Medicare.  Hill was a licensed nurse practitioner in Montana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington.

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In court documents filed in Harper’s case, the government alleged that from Nov. 18, 2017 through July 16, 2019, Harper worked with certain staffing and telemedicine companies to commit health care fraud and received money to sign brace orders that were prepared by telemarketers who had no medical training or certification. Harper routinely signed these orders for Medicare beneficiaries regardless of medical necessity. Harper signed approximately 7,673 brace orders, which resulted in $8,259,849 billed to Medicare, of which Medicare paid approximately $4,307,934. Harper was paid at least $94,395 for the orders she signed.

In court documents filed in Hill’s case, the government alleged that from Oct. 15,  2017 to April 24, 2019, Hill worked with certain staffing and telemedicine companies to commit health care fraud and received money to sign unnecessary brace orders for Medicare beneficiaries regardless of medical necessity, often without ever talking to the Medicare beneficiary to determine whether the braces were medically necessary.  Hill signed approximately 7,097 brace orders, which resulted in $10,055,436 billed to Medicare, of which Medicare paid approximately $5,054,866. Hill was paid at least $124,900 for the orders he signed.

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Both defendants previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. 

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Kakuk and Darren Halverson, Trial Attorney, and Robyn Pullio, former Trial Attorney, Fraud Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department and investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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